St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina celebrates as he rounds 1st base.

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Yadi Returns to Cards Lineup But 'Limited' Against Dodgers

St. Louis was 3-3 during Molina's absence and out scored its opponents 33-27.

September 13, 2018 - 5:33 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) updated after Thursday's game - Yadier Molina took a walk in his first at bat Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, in his first appearance since a hamstring injury kept him off the field for the St. Louis Cardinals previous six games. The catcher would lineout to third in his only other at bat of the night. 

He was replaced by Francisco Pena to start the fifth inning, which is something manager Mike Shildt says was not injury related. St. Louis lost 9-7 to the Dodgers, as the LA is now just one game behind them for the second NL Wild Card spot with just more than two weeks left in the regular season.

He told media before Thursday's game that Molina would be "limited" and would likely be substituted in a late-game situation. The score was 8-1 when Yadi exited the game. 

Previous reporting:

The St. Louis Cardinals have their captain and catcher back behind the plate for the series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Thursday night. Yadier Molina missed six games due to a hamstring injury he suffered when trying to steal a base last week in Detroit. 

He will play catcher and hit seventh, tonight. 

Although he's back, don't expect any sneaky steals or taking the extra base by Molina, says manager Mike Shildt. 

"He's cleared for baseball activities and in Yadi's mind if he's cleared for baseball activities that means he's playing," Shildt says. 

St. Louis was 3-3 during Molina's absence and out scored its opponents 33-27. He is tied for third on the team in home runs, with 17, and has the third-best batting average, at .273, among St. Louis hitters. 

But Shildt believes "no metric can put any value on Yadier Molina." Meaning, there's no tangible way to determine the value of No. 4. 

"I don't know of many players more valuable in terms of what he brings, than Yadi in a sense of how many runs he's able to save behind the plate," Shildt says. "The best way to capture it is that he sees the field and he's the smartest player I've ever seen." 

The Cardinals begin a four-game series against the Dodgers, who are two games behind them for the second NL Wild Card spot. St. Louis is also 3.5 games behind Chicago for the NL Central.